|Fri May 3 2013 11:57:26|
New Feature Diverts Buyers from eBay Listing Page
By: Ina Steiner
One day after implementing new Store fees, eBay sellers began noticing changes to the site - and two new features were spotted on eBay yesterday that have sellers buzzing.
Diverting Buyers from a Seller's Listing
The first is a "big blue arrow" appearing on eBay item pages that says "More Like This" and directs shoppers to active listings from competing sellers. Sellers discussing the feature on the discussion boards began calling it the MTL tab (More Like This).
"Are you KIDDING ME!!" wrote one seller, "It's hard enough to get people to look even click to look at our listings and now eBay is waving buyers away from them with this arrow thing!!"
Another seller wrote, "The annoying blue arrow thing ends up showing other similar ACTIVE listings when someone clicks on it. It follows you like a Peeping Tom all the way down the page as you scroll! This isn't on the completed pages, I'm talking about CURRENT listings! I PAID for my listings!! I didn't get any of them for Free!!"
Another seller appeared resigned to the new feature. "Trust me, I do not agree what eBay is doing when they flash competitors. However, this is the way things are going. If someone wants to buy a purple widget, I've been on Amazon, where they show me multiple sellers with the same widget. And I get to pick the cheapest widget. (Put it in your cart.) The best you can do is improve your listings - if you decide to stay on eBay. Offer as many good photos, super customer service, and good feedback."
Some sellers are not seeing the new MTL tab, but the over-riding reaction from sellers upon reading about it was displeasure that eBay was driving shoppers on their listing pages to listings from competing sellers. "It's like the mall management walking into Walmart and going up to a customer at the register who is ready to buy and telling them to go over to Sears first because they have a better deal," wrote a seller.
New Merchandising Features
Sellers also spotted another feature when browsing listings. This one provides shoppers with an indication of how popular a listing is by popping up a message "5 people are viewing this item per hour." The number changes according to the actual number of viewers.
Other people see a similar box but the message reads, "Someone has watched this item in the past 24 hours."
This could be seen as making a listing more desirable, by showing that other shoppers are interested in the item, but people discussing the features in the same thread as the one about the new MTL tab found it annoying or distracting.
Note that other things seem to be changing on eBay. First, some sellers are reporting they are being charged old fees, not the new fees that went into effect on May 1st. Some sellers are reporting technical issues (several reports are also coming in to EcommerceBytes EKG).
Another example of a possible new feature spotted on eBay: a seller wrote on the discussion boards, "I just listed an item and it is a FP [Fixed Price] item. While in the eBay listing template, I get this message from eBay, "Based on the item type you are listing, it is recommended that you list this item as an Auction listing. It is X-times (can't remember it all) more likely your item will sell if you do this.""
Let us know what you think of these new features and anything unusual you're seeing on eBay!